The Colton coal mine, recently approved by the Queensland Land Court, has had a long history of opposition in the area.
The Colton coal mine, recently approved by the Queensland Land Court, has had a long history of opposition in the area. Brendan Bufi

COLTON MINE: A short history of the application

THE controversial Colton coal mine wasn't a development that was approved overnight - there's a long comprehensive history behind the application by miner New Hope.

First applications for mining leases and environmental authority were lodged in 2010, with public information sessions conducted at the time of the application.

Here are some of the major developments over the lifetime of the mining application:

October 2005 - An Exploration Permit for Coal (EPC) is first granted to Taroom Coal.

December 2006 - Northern Energy Corporation continue to undertake preliminary exploration programs, including a review of geological information in the area.

November 2007 - An EPC is granted to Taroom Coal in November 2007 for 3 years, in an area containing 3 sub-blocks.

2010 - A mining application and seek an environmental authority for the development of a coal mine in the Fraser Coast region is lodged by Northern Energy Corporation

The area inside the green lines represents what is planned to be Colton mine, near Aldershot.
The area inside the green lines represents what is planned to be Colton mine, near Aldershot.

2011 - New Hope Group takes ownership of Northern Energy Corporation, with the ownership of the application for the Colton mine being passed along with it.

December 2012 - The Colton coal mine is temporarily suspended as New Hope awaits government approvals.

At the time of work commencing, the company was still awaiting a mining lease to be approved.

November 2014 - Members of the Aldershot and District Against Mining group lodge an objection in the Queensland Land Court to the development of the proposed mine, marking the start of ADAM's opposition to the mining development.

At the time, ADAM president Brian Linforth claimed over 1042 Aldershot residents were at risk from the mine.

Protesters gathered outside the Maryborough Courthouse to voice their opposition to the Colton Mine in Aldershot.
Protesters gathered outside the Maryborough Courthouse to voice their opposition to the Colton Mine in Aldershot. Jessica Grewal

January 2015 - The legal battle between Adam and New Hope Group commences in the Queensland Land Court, with dozens of protesters voicing opposition to the development.

The case returns to Brisbane in September that same year for further hearings.

Colton Mine protesters: Protesters against the Colton Mine have gathered outside the Maryborough Courthouse to sing a protest song to the tune of Sadie (The Cleaning Lady).
Colton Mine protesters: Protesters against the Colton Mine have gathered outside the Maryborough Courthouse to sing a protest song to the tune of Sadie (The Cleaning Lady).

May 2016 - After a prolonged legal battle, ADAM votes to compromise with New Hope Group for new environmental conditions to be imposed on the mine.

Aldershot and District Against Mining president Brian Linforth and secretary Sue Crickitt at their Aldershot home. Photo Hayden Johnson / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Aldershot and District Against Mining president Brian Linforth and secretary Sue Crickitt at their Aldershot home. Photo Hayden Johnson / Fraser Coast Chronicle Hayden Johnson

November 2016 - The Queensland Land Court approves the recommendation for the Colton coal mine, subject to new noise and dust level conditions imposed.

Following the approval, green groups including the Wide Bay Burnett Protection Alliance and Lock the Gate call for an overhaul on the mine approval process.

Maryborough reacts to the Colton coal mine approval: Maryborough residents have their say on the controversial approval of the Colton coal mine,
Maryborough reacts to the Colton coal mine approval: Maryborough residents have their say on the controversial approval of the Colton coal mine,